Boston University women’s soccer (4-6-1, 1-1-0 Patriot League) saw their undefeated streak in the Patriot League come to an end Saturday afternoon in Lewisburg, PA with a 0-1 loss at the hands of Bucknell University (4-6, 2-0 PL).
In a game where the Terriers outshot the Bison 16-13, the difference was the goal in the 42nd minute by Bison forward Emilene Parham that allowed Bucknell to secure the victory with clean sheets.
Coach Feldman lamented BU straying away from their own game plan.
“We got away from our style and played into what [Bucknell] were really doing,” BU head coach Nancy Feldman said after the game. “Therefore, we lost our way and mounted an opportunity to get a tying goal never mind a winning goal.”
In the first twenty minutes, both BU and Bucknell were moving back and forth through each other’s zones and each attempted three shots that were all wide of the net.
Through the next twenty minutes up to the 40-minute mark, the ball was mainly controlled on the Bucknell side of the field as BU peppered shots and pressured offensively. Most of this pressure was seen from junior forward Anna Heilferty, who attempted three shots in a twenty minutes period in the first half.
Just when it seemed like the Terriers were finally about to break the ice after a shot from sophomore forward Caitlyn DiScarina that Bison goalkeeper Kaylee Donnelly just managed to deflect away, the Bison were able to score in the last three minutes of the first half.
Sophomore goalkeeper Morgan Messner just managed to get a leg on a slow punt from Bucknell forward Annabelle Heisel but had to slide on the field to do so. This allowed Parham to finish the strike attempt by taking the deflected ball and striking it into the unguarded goal, with freshman defender Ashley Buck running in a hair too late to save the shot.
Despite this rough ending to the half, Feldman said she felt that the team played the way she wanted to in the first 45 minutes, with plenty of chances to score goals.
“I thought we played a really strong first half,” Feldman said. “Unfortunately we came out of it on kind of a moment where we had a lapse.”
The second half would open on a foul from Bison midfielder Ali Russo that would open up momentum for the Terriers. BU attempted four shots on goal between the 55th minute and the 63rd minute that would either go wide of the goal or be saved by Donnelly. One close attempt came in the 58th minute from a breakaway from senior forward Shannon Keefe. She could not bring enough power to her strike, her tame effort not troubling Donnelly in the slightest.
In the 66th minute, Bucknell would retain ball control from BU and attempt three corner kicks in within three minutes. Although none of them resulted in goals, it allowed Bucknell to put a screeching halt to the momentum BU has gained in the half, something Feldman thought BU shouldn’t have lost control of.
“In the second half we really got away from everything we wanted to do and train to do,” Feldman said. “We really didn’t give ourselves a chance … in the way I envisioned us to win a game on the road.”
At the 77 minute mark, BU would begin to gain offensive control in Bison territory, but the 90-minute mark was quickly approaching. Shouts of “Be patient!” were heard from the BU bench one minute later at the 78-minute mark as the Terriers had 12 minutes left with an offensive advantage to set up a successful strike.
In the next two minutes, BU would attempt two shots. One was from freshman midfielder Julianna Stureman who was tightly guarded and had her shot go wide right of the Bucknell net. Junior defender McKenna Kennedy would attempt a shot a minute later, but Donnelly was on top of the slow-moving roller.
In the 80th minute, the Bison would regain control of the ball and would maintain that control for the last ten minutes, not allowing BU to get off a shot for the rest of the game.
This 0-1 loss to Bucknell is the first Patriot League loss for the Terriers since November of 2017, where BU lost to the same school in the PL Semifinals by the same 0-1 score. Since that loss BU is now 12-1-2 in Patriot League play, playoffs included.
The Terriers will play their next game on the road against Army West Point. The Black Knights (3-4-3, 0-1-1 PL) will host BU in the second game of a two-game homestand after losing the first game 0-1 to the United States Naval Academy (10-1, 2-0 PL).
Feldman said that it is important for the team to show more commitment to playing the way they need to after not doing so in the second half of Saturday’s game.
“Momentum builds when you play the kind of soccer game you want to play,” Feldman said. “We need to show more commitment, quite honestly, to the little things that will get us the result and help us play the way we want to play.”